This year the University of the Virgin Islands celebrates 20 years of food and family fun with the 20th Anniversary of Afternoon on the Green on Sunday, March 8. The fun begins at noon on the St. Thomas campus golf course. Started as a scholarship fundraiser two decades ago, Afternoon on the Green has grown to become a friend-raiser where everyone can count on having a grand time.
Food is a mainstay at Afternoon on the Green. Members of the community contribute dozens of dishes for the event and for $2 and $3 a taste attendees get to sample their favorites. This year coupons for various businesses across St. Thomas will be given to contributors as a special thank-you. Dishes run the gamut - from cheesecake to jambalaya, from ital to lasagna. In addition to the food under the main food tent, there will be on-site grilling of chicken, beef and pork barbeque sandwiches, hot dogs and veggie burgers.
Music will be provided by Top Notch band until 5 p.m., then things slow down a bit for the extended 20th anniversary special - Jazz on the Green. The UVI Jazz Ensemble will perform from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Former committee chairs and long-time contributors will also be recognized.
"It is incredible that Afternoon on the Green is celebrating its 20th anniversary," said three-time Committee Chair Peggy Smith. "When the first planning team chaired by Sonia Walters took that first step we are sure they intended for the activity to be a part of the University's culture to bridge the gap between the University and the community," she added. "We are proud that it has survived all these years."
Along with the music, other entertainment includes the Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers and the Caribbean Ritual Dancers. There is also a children's corner with bouncers, coloring and other games for children. The academic tent will provide information about each of UVI's academic areas, along with other areas such as the Small Business Development Center and the Reichhold Center for the Arts. UVI's Access and Enrollment Services officials, also based under the academic tent, will accept student applications. The UVI application fee will be waived at Afternoon on the Green. Students must provide their official transcripts to apply. The Virgin Islands Council on the Arts will distribute copies of its featured book - "A Wizard of Earthsea." The Bookmobile will also be at the event.
Smith encouraged people to contribute dishes even though times are economically tough. "Your share may not be a lot, but if each family gives a portion, either by donating a dish or coming to the event and purchasing a taste, this can make the twentieth anniversary worth it all," she said. Smith thanked all the patrons, cooks, sponsors and attendees for continuing to support Afternoon on the Green.
Afternoon on the Green is sponsored by the West Indian Company, Ltd., the Virgin Islands Council for the Arts, Texas Pit BBQ, Civil Air Patrol, the VI Department of Agriculture, L'Etolie Catering, the UVI Bookstore, the Government Employees Retirement System, We Grow Food, Inc., Ashanti George, Haldane Davies, Merchant's Market, Inc., Lew Henley's Sewage Disposal, Caribbean Healthways. Inc., the VI Water and Power Authority and Breads and Cakes Bakery.
To donate a dish or for more information call 693-1040.